Joseph C. Avery and Avery Lodge

  • The full historical report on Joseph C. Avery and Avery Lodge is available here.
  • A recording of the Community Engagement Session regarding Joseph C. Avery and Avery Lodge held on October 16, 2017 is available here.
  • The presentation provided at the Community Engagement Session regarding Joseph C. Avery and Avery Lodge is available here.

Avery Lodge Building History

Avery Lodge was an OSU cooperative residence that opened in fall 1966. Avery Lodge was named for Joseph C. Avery, one of the co-founders of Corvallis. The building served as a cooperative residence until 2015 and was renovated in 2016. Avery Lodge currently houses administrative offices of University Housing & Dining Services, the Family Resource Center, and the Human Services Resource Center. It is located at 1030 S.W. Madison Avenue.

Photos: Avery Lodge, 1969 (P057:4179), News and Communication Services Photograph Collection, and Avery Lodge, photo by Jacquie Gamelgaard, Orange Media Network

Joseph C. Avery Brief Biography

Joseph Conant Avery (1817-1876) was a co-founder of Corvallis. Born in Pennsylvania, Avery moved to Illinois in 1839. He came to Oregon in 1845 and staked a 640-acre land claim at the confluence of the Marys and Willamette rivers. In 1849, he established a store on his claim and, with William Dixon, plotted the town of Marysville (later Corvallis) in 1850. Avery was a member of the Corvallis College Board of Trustees when it was incorporated in 1858 and during the 1870s. He was a member of the three-person commission that in 1870 identified the land grant lands for what became Oregon State University. Avery also served in Oregon’s territorial legislature and helped to establish the Occidental Messenger, a newspaper in Corvallis, prior to the Civil War.

Photo: Joseph Conant Avery, from the Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley, Oregon (image is in the public domain)

Reason for Evaluation

The primary reason for evaluating the name of Avery Lodge include Joseph Avery's ties to the Occidental Messenger newspaper, which advocated for slavery.


The OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center (SCARC), home to the university’s unique collections of manuscripts, archives, photographs, digital records and books. Included within SCARC collections is documentation of the campus buildings as well as biographical information regarding building namesakes. For more information see the OSU Buildings History - SCARC Archival Resources - Avery Lodge online guide. While some materials are available online, the majority are only accessible by an in-person visit to conduct research in SCARC, located in the Valley Library, room 5069. 

Historical Report

A team of scholars, consisting of both OSU faculty and an external scholar, is assessing available primary sources and secondary sources regarding the lives and legacies of Benjamin Arnold, Joseph Avery, Thomas Hart Benton and A.T. "Slats" Gill.

The full historical report for Joseph Avery and Avery Lodge is available here.

Whether or not renaming is recommended, the historical information gathered will be used to create ongoing community education and engagement opportunities as recommended by the Building and Place Name Evaluation Workgroup and Architectural Naming Committee.